Carole Smillie has been in the news revealing how menopause has caused her to thicken around her middle and the skin on her chest to go wrinkly. She’s not the only one to struggle with the awful transformations that can occur at this life stage, but I’m sure she would be interested to know what underlies these changes in her body and how she can get back her waistline as well as decrease the depth of her wrinkles.
Changes in your body
Two key changes are happening in our body at the time of the menopause. The level of the hormone oestrogen, which gives us our feminine characteristics, is falling as the ovaries stop functioning. In addition, levels of important nutrients necessary for normal brain chemistry and hormone function are at an all-time low, making it hard for our immune system to serve us well. Plus, as our metabolic rate slows down, that’s the rate that our body normally ticks over, it makes it difficult for us to consume our usual diet without gaining weight.
Our impaired immune system wrongly perceives that certain foods and drinks are ‘toxic’, leading to all manner of symptoms including abdominal bloating, constipation, excessive wind and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Other common symptoms that result from this chemical reaction in the body are depression, anxiety, irritability and even insomnia.
On top of that the stress this all causes sends our cortisol, the stress hormone, surging; one of the side effects of elevated cortisol is a stubborn accumulation of fat around our middle. One of the surveys that we undertook on menopausal women who chose to take HRT was that on average they gained 18lbs in weight in the first year. Some anti-depressants, often prescribed for women suffering with depression during their menopause, are also known to cause weight gain.
Learning how to spot nutritional deficiencies so that you can get your nutrients into an optimum range will help to get the brain chemistry working normally again. And, consuming foods and science-based supplements that are rich in naturally occurring oestrogen have been shown in a number of clinical trials to reduce the depth of our wrinkles, increase collagen quantity and improve skin roughness in menopausal women.
If women learn to meet their needs at menopause rather than it being the beginning of the end it can represent a whole new beginning. I have been helping women to reclaim their wellbeing as well as their shape for over 25 years. After following my programme more than ninety percent of my patients are symptom-free within five months.